Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Businesses United States Politics

Labor Department To Destroy H-1B Records 190

Presto Vivace writes H-1B records that are critical to research and take up a small amount of storage are set for deletion. "In a notice posted last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said that records used for labor certification, whether in paper or electronic, 'are temporary records and subject to destruction' after five years, under a new policy. There was no explanation for the change, and it is perplexing to researchers. The records under threat are called Labor Condition Applications (LCA), which identify the H-1B employer, worksite, the prevailing wage, and the wage paid to the worker. The cost of storage can't be an issue for the government's $80 billion IT budget: A full year's worth of LCA data is less than 1GB."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Labor Department To Destroy H-1B Records

Comments Filter:
  • US Citizenship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:32AM (#48267747)
    Once H1-Bs get used to working for peanuts to fulfill their "American dream", the next step is give them US citizenship so government can say "see, US workers are willing to work for less," then use the lowest common denminator to set wages.
    • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @06:15AM (#48267991) Journal

      The government of the United States of America is behaving very much like an accomplice to a crime

      Their unexplained decision to delete EVERY.SINGLE.RECORD regrading the H1-B program is tantamount of the DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE !

      How can the Americans allow their government to turn so rogue, so fast ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 )

        People wanted change and they got it. I hope they enjoy every single inch.

        • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Insightful)

          by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:23AM (#48268931) Homepage Journal

          > People wanted change and they didn't get it.
          FTFY

      • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @07:49AM (#48268333)

        The government of the United States of America is behaving very much like an accomplice to a crime

        I wonder if the founding fathers ever could have imagined a world where the government they created would be completely owned and controlled by an oligarchy of huge corporations. Could they have imagined a government where something akin to the Dutch East India Company simply walked in and individually bribed every single Congressman and the President to do their bidding, without the American people even realizing it?

        • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @08:02AM (#48268419) Journal

          ... Could they have imagined a government where something akin to the Dutch East India Company simply walked in and individually bribed every single Congressman and the President to do their bidding, without the American people even realizing it?

          I am a citizen of the United States of America. I realize what is going on

          But how many of my fellow Americans know?

          And more importantly, how many of them give a damn?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Most of them are probably too busy working two or three jobs to get by to notice.

          • I am a citizen of the United States of America. I realize what is going on

            But how many of my fellow Americans know?

            And more importantly, how many of them give a damn?

            I know, I give a damn, how does that make any difference?

          • by NoKaOi ( 1415755 )

            And more importantly, how many of them give a damn?

            I'm an American citizen too, and I give a...oh look, the American Idol Finale is on!

        • Re:US Citizenship (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:13AM (#48268857)

          Could they have imagined a government where something akin to the Dutch East India Company simply walked in and individually bribed every single Congressman and the President to do their bidding, without the American people even realizing it?

          What makes you think the $(nationality) East India Companies didn't bribe their respective governments?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jawnn ( 445279 )

          The government of the United States of America is behaving very much like an accomplice to a crime

          I wonder if the founding fathers ever could have imagined a world where the government they created would be completely owned and controlled by an oligarchy of huge corporations. Could they have imagined a government where something akin to the Dutch East India Company simply walked in and individually bribed every single Congressman and the President to do their bidding, without the American people even realizing it?

          I think that many of them "realize" it, but they've been convinced that bullshit issues like gay marriage and reproductive choice are more important to them.

        • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Interesting)

          by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @10:11AM (#48269309)

          Could they have imagined a government where something akin to the Dutch East India Company simply walked in and individually bribed every single Congressman and the President to do their bidding, without the American people even realizing it?

          Sure they did:


          1. “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
          — Thomas Jefferson, 1802 letter to Secretary of State Albert Gallatin.

          2. “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
          — Thomas Jefferson.

          3. “The power of all corporations ought to be limited, [...] the growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.”
          — James Madison

          4.“Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.”
          — John Adams

          • I wish I had mod points!

            BIG PLUS! Thank you for this post!

          • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Informative)

            by doug141 ( 863552 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @12:46PM (#48270941)

            "I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!
            -Andrew Jackson

        • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Informative)

          by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @10:25AM (#48269429)
          Given that one of the sparks of the American Revolution was a tax/rent seeking handout [wikipedia.org] to the British East India company, maybe they were far from clueless on the matter.

          Also, where does the NSA fit in this "oligarchy of huge corporations"?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        How can the Americans allow their government to turn so rogue, so fast ?

        It's really easy when a corrupt supreme court "decides" that corporations are people, and bribery of public officials is legal. But the biggest problem in this country is ... nobody seems to care.

      • Re:US Citizenship (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KermodeBear ( 738243 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @08:37AM (#48268621) Homepage

        Because Americans are no longer educated about their government or their history, and as long as they can catch the latest episode of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo they really don't care about what is happening. Those of us who DO care and pay attention are in the extreme minority. No matter how loudly we shout about the problems we're racing into, the rest of America looks at as like we're some crazy conspiracy theorists.

        It doesn't help that many of the large news outlets are government sycophants, refusing to carry news that may damage the current administration [socio-poli...ournal.com]. Note that this behavior is not limited to CBS or our current administration. They're all corrupt to some degree.

        But yeah, nobody gives a shit, give them some Soma [shmoop.com], all is well. Aldous Huxly [9gag.com] was right.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        In the USSR decades back there was a creative but courageous solution to that. Some files were opened along the lines of "as ordered all files on subject X with details contained in the appendix to this file were destroyed". That's how the world has some records of mass graves from Stalin's time.
      • Their unexplained decision to delete EVERY.SINGLE.RECORD regrading the H1-B program is tantamount of the DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE !

        Whoa, hold on there cowboy.

        It isn't "every single record", it is records older than five years. And it isn't actually unexplained. Many, if not all, government agencies have data retention policies that specify how long forms have to be kept. Some of that comes from the silly idea that the government shouldn't be collecting and keeping data about people. Once the data is no longer useful (other than as a collection of data about people) it should be destroyed. There's also the cost of maintaining the old

      • by Livius ( 318358 )

        The government of the United States of America is behaving very much like an accomplice to a crime

        Accomplices to crimes are known to do that.

    • Are you kidding be. Would be stupid to do that. The whole point is that many of not most H1B ers are working for less because they'd much rather be in this country. The threat of losing the visa it's what keeps them indentured servants. Just look at the biomedical research industry. No one will ever give them citizenship ebb masse... it would destroy the system by which having a PhD became about as profitable as being on welfare.

    • This whole 'H1B' thing is becoming an outright crime against the people of the U.S.. All you hear is 'the U.S. economy is rebounding' but people are still out of work and the people who are working are still scratching to get by. Meanwhile asshole companies cry that they 'can't find qualified workers in the U.S.' as an excuse to hire foreign workers who will work for a fraction of what a U.S. citizen would be paid, all so their bottom line looks better. Drag these bastards out into the streets and shoot the
    • by qbast ( 1265706 )
      No. Next step is to send them home and bring in fresh batch.
    • by jthill ( 303417 )

      So the government can say?

      So the government can set wages?

    • Once H1-Bs get used to working for peanuts to fulfill their "American dream".

      Not all H-1Bs work for peanuts... There are also H-1Bs from Canada and various wealthy countries in Europe. I'm one of those.

      Either way, after looking at my LCA (I just dug it up) I can tell you that only interesting thing specified there is the salary range. Which can be very inaccurate, I currently make well above the salary range specified in my LCA.

      Note, as someone who have submitted everything from bank statements, criminal records, occupation and addresses of family, and an amazing load of other

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:37AM (#48267763)

    This is because the H1B visa problem is rife with abuse, ranging from fraud, most common, to basic slavery. If you don't believe the slavery port realize that a lot of people working on H1B visa's in the US have signed very abusive contracts with brokers in their home countries. If they quit and leave they'll be in a heap of legal and financial trouble when they get back.

    The tech companies know this, the Labor department knows this, Destroying records s a way to hopefully prevent any future legal action on the part of H1B applicants in the future. Similar thing happened with Migrant workers from Mexico, taxes and fees were taken out, then records were destroyed to make it impossible for workers to sue later or collect benefits promised.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hostmaster ( 176876 )

      Can you cite some examples of the "abusive contracts with brokers" and "slave wages" and give us some data on how prevalent you believe these are?

      Here's survey data on H-1Bs: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/H-1B/h1b-fy-12-characteristics.pdf

      and here's prevailing wage data for a random area (Denver, Colorado): http://www.flcdatacenter.com/OesQuickResults.aspx?code=15-1132&area=19740&year=15&source=1 prevailing wage for Level 1 is $64,230 for an ap

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      "Slavery" is an overstatement, but the important thing to realize that it's not really about money. Crunch the numbers and there isn't a significant difference in formal wages. The difference is the desperation of the people being exploited, and the abuse of the power that employers have over foreign workers that they do not have over others.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Simple

    1: Just encrypt it thoroughly,
    2: name it "Archive of leaked celeb pics" or something.
    3: upload to pirate bay
    4:????

    5: free indefinite storage, fast retrieval

  • by TyFoN ( 12980 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:39AM (#48267769)

    That's more than some small countries national budgets..

    How is that even even possible?

    You could buy 80 million $1000 computers for that amount!

    Sorry for not being completely OT, but that's insane..

    • by abies ( 607076 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:46AM (#48267787)

      Entire Department of Labor budget is around 12 billions.

      I suppose that 80 billions (if true) would come mostly from Department of Defense - I can easily imagine IT costs of various top-end fighters/bombers/missiles etc being quite high.

      In any case, it doesn't really matter. Costs of storage is not an issue here. Legal reasons, maintenance, politics - but certainly not cost of few tapes/harddrives.

    • You could buy 80 million $1000 computers for that amount!

      Or pay the salary of the CEO of each of the handful of IT corporations that paid your political campaign!

    • You could probably fly to Mars for a quarter of that money, too. ;-)
    • by Jaime2 ( 824950 )
      I used to work at a company with 50,000 employees and a 2 billion dollar IT budget. We were not an IT company. Scaling that up would be 80 billion dollars for 2 million employees. The US federal government has a bit less than 5 million employees, so the number seems to be not only plausible, but quite low.
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:44AM (#48267781)

    ... everything. The cover ups are wall to wall.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...except of course the private data of people they intercepted illegaly.

  • by NimbleSquirrel ( 587564 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:52AM (#48267797)

    The answer to this is easy: plausible deniability. If the records are only temporary, and get expunged after 5 years, then the US government suddenly have an out for bad press over a long history of abuses of that H1B program that have gone unchecked. Instead of changing policy, fixing the program, and investigating historical abuses by various (mostly tech) companies, it is easier to rewrite histrory.

    The answer will now be: 'Oh... we can't possibly investigate company X for H1B visa abuses. The records were temporary and no longer exist. Since the records no longer exist, we cannot possibly comment. To the best of our knowledge, the H1B program works.'

    • by davecb ( 6526 )
      The Canadian (federal) government is doing the same thing, but accompany it with written gag orders for scientists on the payroll, and defunding of scientific research in selected areas.
    • Why wold they care? It's the recent records that potentially cause embarrassment. The earlier records were the result of an earlier congress. You can handle with a simple "Thanks for bringing this to my attention" and a promise to look into it. That's a win for the politician.
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      It goes both ways though. Do you want the IRS to be able to audit you or your company going back indefinitely? If your company is sued, do you really want to have to go back forever as part of discovery?

      There are practical reasons to limit how long information is retained. I'm not saying that in this particular case 5 years is too long, just right, or too short, but it's not always about plausible deniability.

    • Hopefully a private watchdog will begin copying these records as a public service.

    • by jsepeta ( 412566 )

      not just tech companies. a former employer provides in-home healthcare service, and imports women from the Phillipines as nurses. They're not paid well, they work long hours doing grueling work, then are cut free once their H1B expires. Far better to pay a living wage and treat employees with respect, but I'm not the boss.

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      It's the best kind of evidence of a crime - evidence where there actually is a valid reason to delete it.

  • by melonman ( 608440 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @04:56AM (#48267805) Journal

    The article doesn't seem to point out the obvious explanation, ie that H1B applications contain personal data (of the type Slashdotters are usually passionate about protecting), and that it is good practice not to keep such information hanging around once it has served its primary purpose. There are presumably solutions to the research concerns, such as aggregating the data before it is deleted or collecting the specific data necessary before the records are deleted.

    • by threc ( 105464 )
      Here is one solution: use a sharpie and permanently black out the confidential information. I guess the government forgot how to use sharpies to black out people's names and addresses. Lord knows Adobe Acrobat doesn't have any features to help with this. Oh wait ... http://www.adobe.com/products/... [adobe.com]
      • You clearly have no idea the amount of time this takes to do correctly and verify it has been done on every. single. record. This isn't a dozen applications, this is (I presume) hundreds of thousands.

        As compared to deleting the files based on date and/or having a shredding company come in and dump the bankers boxes, you're talking several magnitudes of effort (and cost).

        • by threc ( 105464 )
          Considering I have FOIA'ed hundreds of thousands of government pages (DIA, USAF Oral History, and more) and in some cases waited over a decade to get the paperwork approved for release. I have a pretty good idea of how long it takes. Want to know what's different with these Department of Labor documents and why it shouldn't be a fairly fast process to redact? The documents are templatized forms. So the fields are strongly typed. Since many of the documents are stored electronically, it wouldn't take a geni
        • I could be totally wrong, but I'm going to guess that the paper applications have no real value; the real data is stored in a database file. It's easy to remove personally identifiable fields from the tables and leave the non-personal data for analysis. Shred the paper, anonymize the digital data, keep it around and release it to the public perhaps.

          That kind of data could be very useful in some kind of complex economic modelling software, or perhaps the data over time can use used as an economic or some oth

      • Redacting sounds good on the surface, but piecing the info back together again is somewhat trivial. Sharpies don't do a great job when you can blow something up to ridiculous multiples, then use pattern recognition to infer the data hidden behind the redaction.

        It's better to have Norton AV recognize this as a virus. That'll get rid of it. Yeah. Or give it to an IRS exec in the form of an email.....

    • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @06:33AM (#48268049)

      The article doesn't seem to point out the obvious explanation, ie that H1B applications contain personal data (of the type Slashdotters are usually passionate about protecting), and that it is good practice not to keep such information hanging around once it has served its primary purpose.

      Given the recent reports of how H1B workers are treated as slaves [slashdot.org] in abuses reminicent of human trafficking [dailykos.com], the timing of this seems more than a bit suspicious. And at least one source has the DOL saying "will no longer respond to inquiries to search for records in response to FOIA requests" [mondaq.com]. Explicitly pre-empting the FOIA process without even the suggestion that the data might be anonymized to allay privacy concerns is, again, more than a little suspicious.

      There are presumably solutions to the research concerns, such as aggregating the data before it is deleted or collecting the specific data necessary before the records are deleted.

      Yes, there are solutions, but will they be implemented? And is the Dept. of Labor so tone-deaf, and so ignorant of the controversial nature of this decision, that they didn't think to put an anonymization program in place in advance of this announcement? Somehow I doubt it.

    • by wrc ( 99060 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @06:35AM (#48268057)

      "The obvious explanation" is incorrect.

      The record in question, the Labor Condition Application, does not include personal data. Employers are even required to have them available for public disclosure (see section J of the form).

      So, no personal information. Just records of what the employer claimed the prevailing wage was for the roles it brought in H1B workers to fill.

      It's ETA Form 9035. Look for yourself.

    • The article doesn't seem to point out the obvious explanation, ie that H1B applications contain personal data (of the type Slashdotters are usually passionate about protecting), and that it is good practice not to keep such information hanging around once it has served its primary purpose. There are presumably solutions to the research concerns, such as aggregating the data before it is deleted or collecting the specific data necessary before the records are deleted.

      Yes, and this bit:

      A full year's worth of LCA data is less than 1GB.

      is pure speculation on the authors part.
      We've no idea what the database structure is, and I've seen some pretty horrific databases before. I once found a server that was logging requests in flat text files... basically CSV format, then those were getting queried via a script. It was creating over 60gig of files per day because the guy that wrote the script didn't want to bother with requesting a table in a local database. Altering the code to get new data into a table took minutes. We move

      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        I have seen a lot of crazy DB constructions over the years. Devs having completely new tables that were a virtual duplicates of a previous one, oddball crap stored as BLOBs or CLOBS because the dev had their own screwy algorithm and wanted job security by making sure things worked, but didn't work without them.

        With a database that has been around a while, even though it might supposedly have a gig of data in it, it might be so bloated that it can be orders of magnitudes bigger, and because of territorial d

      • The only "personal" information on the form is the applicants bussiness addresses.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Or just anonymizing the records as soon as no longer required.

      However, 5 years is not very much time if they may need to investigate the possibility of fraudulent applications in the future.

    • I agree. However, the same thing could be accomplished with a simple SQL script to null the fields containing personally identifying information in each record.

      Not a conspiracy nut here but I do suspect there are additional motives for purging the data outside of a purely altruistic one.

    • Do you really believe the Govt. cares about the peoples personal data? They know the H1B visa program is full of abuse, the less evidence there is, the better chance they can deny any wrong doing. It should come as no surprise from probably the most secretive, and opaque administration in history.
    • > it is good practice not to keep such information hanging

      WTF!? Why not? The government certainly keeps information about US citizens "hanging around?"

      Why the double standard?

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      H1B applications contain personal data (of the type Slashdotters are usually passionate about protecting),

      Slasdotters believe in lots of freedoms except the freedom of movement of labor. Because they believe in the religion of nationalism.

    • With aggregated data, you can't go to a sample of individuals for comfiration, you would just have to take the Governments word for accuracy; and just the possiblility of being able to do so would have a chilling effect on potential fraudsters.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Never mind. We can just ask Slashdot to make a DUPLICATE copy

      http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/10/29/1244255/skilled-foreign-workers-treated-as-indentured-servants [slashdot.org]

  • Duplicate (Score:4, Informative)

    by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @05:07AM (#48267825)
    How many times will you be running this story, this week?
  • You may think 5 years is too short, but you do need some expiration date for non-critical data. Without an expiration date, whoever manages the data has to go into CYA mode and keep it forever. That gets expensive - it's not the cost of raw storage, it's the cost of ensuring that everything is kept as systems change.
  • The Cloud! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wed128 ( 722152 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ssalguodwordoow}> on Thursday October 30, 2014 @06:05AM (#48267959)

    Is the data public information? if so, why not just make it publicly available, and whoever cares can download it. If the data is valuable, it will be mirrored and survive. if not, it won't.

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )

      Is the data public information? if so, why not just make it publicly available, and whoever cares can download it. If the data is valuable, it will be mirrored and survive. if not, it won't.

      It's not public, it's not useful, it's not accurate...
      But it is private and sensitive data from honest hardworking residents.. Hey yeah, why don't we throw information about every Americans salary range online?

      • by wed128 ( 722152 )

        if the data has any value, it could (SHOULD) be anonymized (names changed to protect the innocent)...

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @06:31AM (#48268039)
    Just change the name to reflect what it really does. Merge everything into four real departments:

    The Department of Defense Pork

    The Department of Homeland Pork

    The Department of Corporate Lawlessness

    The Department of Corporate Welfare

  • by PPalmgren ( 1009823 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @07:33AM (#48268263)

    Every single government form and department has a record retention policy of some kind. This is a labor certification record held by the department of labor. This doesn't tell you anything except that the person had the H1B and was OK to work at their original hire date, its a work verification not a visa data repository. The actual visa application and so-on would be with US CIS or US CBP. I'm honestly surprised they held it for even 5 years, since most forms of this nature have a retention of only 2-4 years.

  • by Jaime2 ( 824950 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @07:45AM (#48268311)

    The goal of an effective document retention policy is to identify documents that can be destroyed and destroy them as soon as it is permissible to do so. Old documents are a court case with a broad discovery order away from becoming a big cost. It's very cheap to say "the retention policy says these documents are only kept five years and we physically destroy them shortly after this date".

    I know of a county government in New York that kept their backups tapes from their mail server as a method of retention. There was some political trouble with a mayor (who used the county's email system) and a contractor - suspicion of giving no-bid contracts or something like that. A request came to the county's doorstep for all of the email correspondence between the two for the four years the mayor was in office. The county had to buy a spare server and restore each monthly tape to it and manually pick out the email messages. It cost them $190,000. It would have been better for them to either have an effective archiving plan, or to have deleted them. Keeping stuff "just in case" is a horrible idea.

    Of course, if these documents are being singled out for aggressive purging and other documents are not, then there may be some funny business going on.

    • The goal of an effective document retention policy is to identify documents that can be destroyed and destroy them as soon as it is permissible to do so. Old documents are a court case with a broad discovery order away from becoming a big cost. It's very cheap to say "the retention policy says these documents are only kept five years and we physically destroy them shortly after this date".

      I know of a county government in New York that kept their backups tapes from their mail server as a method of retention. There was some political trouble with a mayor (who used the county's email system) and a contractor - suspicion of giving no-bid contracts or something like that. A request came to the county's doorstep for all of the email correspondence between the two for the four years the mayor was in office. The county had to buy a spare server and restore each monthly tape to it and manually pick out the email messages. It cost them $190,000. It would have been better for them to either have an effective archiving plan, or to have deleted them. Keeping stuff "just in case" is a horrible idea.

      Of course, if these documents are being singled out for aggressive purging and other documents are not, then there may be some funny business going on.

      This happens every. When I worked at a county, we kept a couple ancient Novell servers around so that we could rebuild edirectory and groupwise and pull email out of it. The first request took a member on my team a solid month working a few hours of overtime every day to fulfill (that's wehre the ancient servers came from to begin with). After that, the requests were quicker, but still occupied somebody for about a week.

    • by bmo ( 77928 )

      The county had to buy a spare server and restore each monthly tape to it and manually pick out the email messages

      It's a fucking computer. How do you not even try to automate stuff like that? How stupid do you have to be to not even write a script, but sit there and fucking vgrep everything?

      The cost was not because of the documents being requested or that the county kept the records too long, the cost was that their IT department is run by retards.

      --
      BMO

  • ... the most transparent administration in history.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_... [whitehouse.gov]
  • If the the government isn't doing anything wrong, what do they have to hide?

  • All those poor companies that profited from this H1B effort and the US government that helped for various reasons to make it more profitable for those poor companies, could be at risk.
    Especially once you consider they were on the backside they going after unions and organizers as politicians with a position.
    Think of the Children and the kittens that would be at risk if we keep this 1G of data. We need that disk space for my 7G landmark EQ beta install!
  • Copy Them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @09:04AM (#48268797)

    These are public records (according to TFA). Some research organization (university) can make periodic requests for the data, put it on line and store it indefinitely. They (or some third parties) could even create a few reports, to give the public an idea of which companies are making H-1B visa requests.

  • presumably these are public records, because it's government and all. What's to stop anybody who is crying about "deletion of evidence" from submitting a FOIA request for all of the records that are set to be deleted, and then maintaining their own database?

  • We are basking in the glory of a transparent government. Thanks, Obama!

  • Privacy?

  • Sue the government and put a litigation hold on the documents. They are clearly trying to hide something.

  • You know your government is overreaching when they collect and keep your telephone records forever, but have to destroy lists of H1-B visas after five years "to save storage space".
  • by sgt_doom ( 655561 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:16PM (#48271343)
    . . . those of us who aren't arithmetically-challenged have noticed that this official fourth jobless recovery (although really the fifth or sixth, and we are now told that all the jobs lost have been created again, at least in numerical quantity), that with each and every one of those four downturns, meltdowns, etc., that exactly one-fifth of the US workforce was laid off --- now, to have precisely the same portion of the workforce laid off each and every effing time is just a little bit too mind boggling to be taken as accidental --- throw into the equation all those jobs now being offshored, or created offshore, and more and more foreign visa scab workers imported by the corporations (remember, please, that the NYC Times Square attempted car bomber had been sponsored to this country from Pakistan, by a hedge fund based in Connecticut).

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker

Working...